James Ogunnaike – Abeokuta
As Nigeria prepares to conduct a new population census after 14 years, the federal government has been called upon to ensure it creates an accurate database of the national citizens in order to have credible and accurate population figures.
The Special Adviser to the Ogun State Governor on Public Communication, Remmy Hazzan, made the call while speaking at the 10th Training and Induction Ceremony of the Association of Applied Information Management Professionals (AIMP) at the Babcock University, Ilishan-Remo, Ogun State.
He opined that the country may not be able to have the correct population census without an accurate database of its citizens, stressing that no economic planning would work in the country if the government lacks the demographic information of the people.
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He said through a national database, necessary information required for economic development and social planning would be sourced.
Hazzan, who attributed the failure of national planning to lack of a credible database of Nigerians, believed that the country may not be able to have the correct population census without an accurate database of the citizens.
Hazzan, who was also inducted as a Fellow of AIMP, recalled how the state government found it difficult to distribute palliative to the vulnerable people during the COVID-19 lockdown, due to lack of an accurate database.
“Nigeria lacks a credible database. And we are long overdue for this as a nation. Without an accurate database, we cannot plan for our citizens as a country. Apart from that, the census may not give us the real figure of our population without a database, particularly when the census has even been politicised.
“As a state government, we found it difficult to get the number of vulnerable people to give palliative to during the COVID-19 lockdown because there was no database. We had to resort to using religious organisations and Community Development Associations before we could distribute these palliatives.
“Therefore, it is expedient on us as a nation that we develop accurate database where information about citizens can be sourced, to aid and guide the government in planning, both economic and social”, he stated.
While stressing that data gathering, analysis, and application should be restructured in the country, Hazzan urged the AIPM to reach out to other professional bodies on the need to embrace and inculcate applied information management technology in their activities.
Speaking on the theme, ‘The Role of Information Management Technology in Retooling the Nation’s Workforce and Encouraging Intellectual Capacity Development’, a one time Commissioner for Information in Ogun state, Niran Malaolu, decried “poor planning and lack of data” in the country.
According to him, “Information Management Technology must be applied to all the sectors of the country as a tool for change”, adding “through this, we plan properly as a nation and change our narrative to socio-economic betterment”.